ANA, AIMM Call For 'Sweeping Changes' To Accelerate Ad Industry Diversity

Acknowledging that its efforts have yielded only "limited progress," the Association of National Advertisers, and its Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing this morning sent a letter to their boards and members calling for "sweeping changes to accelerate progress and effect real, dynamic change."

"As we experience unprecedented loss due to the novel coronavirus, Black and Brown communities continue to face an age-old virus that has infected America for four centuries: racism," the trade organizations write, adding: "As America marches for an end to racism, injustice, and inequality against Blacks, the marketing and advertising industry is here to say we see you, we hear you, we are with you, and we commit to do everything in our individual and collective power to end systemic racism and achieve equality and justice."

Noting that it has not yet "done enough," they outlined a series of steps to move inclusion and diversity forward in the advertising industry, including:

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    We will achieve representation that better reflects our country’s demographics throughout the industry: marketers, media companies, agencies, production companies, and service providers. This means equity in representation at every level, equitable access, and equitable voice — in other words, a seat at the table. In our yearly diversity reports to the industry, we will include clear actionable steps and guidelines for companies to achieve parity and extend that work to the balance of the industry. 

  • We will conduct courageous conversations and work with our membership’s Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to understand the systemic inequities throughout the industry so that together we can establish programs that can fix these systems. 

  • We will accelerate the use of AIMM’s #SeeALL campaign to eliminate bias through the accurate portrayal of race, identity, and culture in advertising and media programs. We will hold ourselves and the industry accountable by measuring all ads and programming in which we invest with AIMM’s Cultural Insights Impact Measure (CIIM™).

  • We will increase our spending in multicultural marketing so that the percentage of investment is commensurate with the representation of the multicultural people we serve. Current findings from the PQ Media study highlight that only 5 percent of marketing spend is targeting multicultural segments, which is unacceptable, as it represents a mere fraction of the country’s Black, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, and LGBTQ+ populations. 

  • We will demand the accuracy of multicultural and inclusive data from measurement service providers so that marketers can connect with key diverse audiences and attribute growth to the right people and segments. 

  • We will continue to work until we achieve an equal and equitable creative supply chain through strategic investment in agencies, broadcasters, suppliers, and producers that are owned or run by Black, Hispanic, Asian, and LGBTQ+ people, and people with disabilities. 

  • We will double down on cross-industry partnerships to enable a higher degree of engagement with and understanding of diverse communities. We will leverage learnings from our supplier diversity study to help companies establish increased support of diverse suppliers. 

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